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Team Canada Basketball Thread V3.0

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Team Canada Basketball Thread V3.0 

Post#1 » by niQ » Fri Feb 26, 2021 10:28 pm

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Re: Team Canada Basketball Thread V3.0 

Post#2 » by Kenter16 » Fri Feb 26, 2021 10:51 pm

We rolled over the odometer!!
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Re: Team Canada Basketball Thread V3.0 

Post#3 » by Hair Canada » Fri Feb 26, 2021 11:05 pm

Seems appropriate to add in the front here a link to the former two versions:

V1:
https://forums.realgm.com/boards/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=1423160
V2:
https://forums.realgm.com/boards/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=1731269
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Re: Team Canada Basketball Thread V3.0 

Post#4 » by niQ » Fri Feb 26, 2021 11:27 pm

Hair Canada wrote:Seems appropriate to add in the front here a link to the former two versions:

V1:
https://forums.realgm.com/boards/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=1423160
V2:
https://forums.realgm.com/boards/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=1731269


Thank you. I've added them to the OP.
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Re: Team Canada Basketball Thread V3.0 

Post#5 » by mojo13 » Tue Mar 2, 2021 5:12 pm

I don't think I posted this on the old thread, but it is worth noting that New Zealand pulled out of the Olympic Qualifier held in Serbia and is being replaced by the next highest ranked Asian team - the Philippines.

Sucks for NZ, but very lucky break for basketball mad Philippines. And good for bball to be honest...

The concern is seeing NZ pull out 4 months ahead of time citing the costs around Covid. Now NZ is a chronically underfunded federation (yes - worse than Canada) and rumors are that by just participating it might bankrupt the federation. Sounded like they were instead going to focus on lower cost regional events, mandatory FIBA events, and events they had a better chance at succeeding at. Still they tried to blame Covid and NZ is once of the most puckered up countries about Covid. Canada is not too far behind, so it rattles the cages a bit on whether we are going to pull off Victoria - or if Covid is going to be a convenient (and somewhat valid) excuse to pull the plug.
It is probably going to be a big money loser without fans in the stands and how much can Canada Basketball afford to lose? How are they going to handle quarantining as countries come into Canada? How are we going to handle preparation and exhibition games - is it worth leaving the country for that? Would any country bother to come to Canada? Perhaps we just get the 6 teams in the Qualifier here earlier and play prep games among ourselves?

I think the probability is good that they figure it all out and pull off the Qualifier just fine. It is just a little surprising to see NZ pull out of the Serbia Qualifier so far ahead - letting us know that the ground is more than a little shaky.
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Re: Team Canada Basketball Thread V3.0 

Post#6 » by arbsn » Tue Mar 2, 2021 6:08 pm

Considering Canada has some of the tightest travel restrictions in the world I doubt we move forward with the tournament. A big shame as Covid has been proven to be more hysteria than killer. :(
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Re: Team Canada Basketball Thread V3.0 

Post#7 » by Kenter16 » Tue Mar 2, 2021 9:08 pm

Murray has been on fire as of late. I think we all know that, but he is getting some big praise for his defense this season as well.
Steve Aschburner's Defense player ladder article has him in 5th.

https://www.nba.com/news/defensive-player-ladder-ben-simmons-steals-no-1-spot



If it’s perimeter defense you want, you might want to pay attention to Murray. The Denver guard is responsible for closing out on 6.8 shots per game of 15 feet or more, and his impact on those shooters is great. Normally accurate 37.7 percent of the time from that range, Murray has them down at 28.8 percent, a gain of 8.9 percent.
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Re: Team Canada Basketball Thread V3.0 

Post#8 » by Hair Canada » Thu Mar 4, 2021 11:06 pm

Great stuff about Jamal. For a while now I've been feeling that he's an underrated defender, probably because labels are hard to shake. Love the effort he's been giving on that side of the court while being such an important offensive tool for Denver. I think it was there already last year but got even better this season.

Also, Brissett has been pretty good in the G. He's up now to around 19 points and 10 rebounds a game. for me, though, the most encouraging aspect of his game lately has been his shooting. In his last 7 games, he took almost 8 3-pointers per game and shot them at a reasonable percentage (37%). This volume shows that the 3-point shot might start to become a real weapon for him. And if he gets another shot at the league it's as a combo-forward 3-and-D guy who brings hustle from the bench and can make the open 3. Hope he gets another chance next year. He's a player I've always liked and I think he can carve a spot for himself with his effort and intangibles if he can just not be an offensive liability on the court.
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Re: Team Canada Basketball Thread V3.0 

Post#9 » by Hair Canada » Fri Mar 5, 2021 4:29 am

This has to be a new single-night record. No less than 11 Canadians with double-digit scoring, 5 of them (possibly 6) with 20 points or more.

SGA: 33
Boucher: 30
Murray: 23
Brooks: 23
Barrett: 21
Olynyk: 18 (with one miss and nearly a triple-double)
Dort: 15
Lyles: 15
TT: 13
NAW: 13
Wiggins: 11 (at halftime)

Only ones who played today and missed the mark: Clark with 6 and CoJo with 4, but he still has another half to go.

Altogether that's 225 points and still counting. Got to be a record.
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Re: Team Canada Basketball Thread V3.0 

Post#10 » by TrueNorth31 » Sat Mar 6, 2021 7:58 pm

I see Fiba has thrown the smackdown at Cuba for not showing in the last bubble by forfeiting their missed games and thereby giving the Virgin Islands the last qualifying spot for the 2022 Fiba Americup.

"Miami (United States) - Following Cuba’s failure to reach San Juan (Puerto Rico) for the FIBA AmeriCup 2022 Qualifiers in February, FIBA has decided that the three games scheduled, Cuba-Canada (18 February), Dominican Republic-Cuba (20 February) and Canada-Cuba (21 February) have been forfeited in favor of Canada (two games) and Dominican Republic (one game).

Taking this ruling into consideration, the following teams from Group C are now qualified for the FIBA AmeriCup 2022:

Canada, Dominican Republic & U.S. Virgin Islands

http://www.fiba.basketball/americup/2022/qualifiers/news/decision-on-the-non-appearance-of-cuba-at-the-fiba-americup-2022-qualifiers-february-window

I'm happy for V.I. they showed up, competed hard and lost several close games so they deserved this break. Canada is also qualified and no longer has to play any other games in this cycle. As for Cuba I still feel they were terrified of having most of their team seek asylum on American soil in Puerto Rico. Sad, hopefully economic relationships between Cuba and the U.S.A. improve under Biden as the American policy of isolation is an abject failure.
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Re: Team Canada Basketball Thread V3.0 

Post#11 » by TrueNorth31 » Mon Mar 8, 2021 12:27 am

mojo13 wrote:I don't think I posted this on the old thread, but it is worth noting that New Zealand pulled out of the Olympic Qualifier held in Serbia and is being replaced by the next highest ranked Asian team - the Philippines.

Sucks for NZ, but very lucky break for basketball mad Philippines. And good for bball to be honest...

The concern is seeing NZ pull out 4 months ahead of time citing the costs around Covid. Now NZ is a chronically underfunded federation (yes - worse than Canada) and rumors are that by just participating it might bankrupt the federation. Sounded like they were instead going to focus on lower cost regional events, mandatory FIBA events, and events they had a better chance at succeeding at. Still they tried to blame Covid and NZ is once of the most puckered up countries about Covid. Canada is not too far behind, so it rattles the cages a bit on whether we are going to pull off Victoria - or if Covid is going to be a convenient (and somewhat valid) excuse to pull the plug.
It is probably going to be a big money loser without fans in the stands and how much can Canada Basketball afford to lose? How are they going to handle quarantining as countries come into Canada? How are we going to handle preparation and exhibition games - is it worth leaving the country for that? Would any country bother to come to Canada? Perhaps we just get the 6 teams in the Qualifier here earlier and play prep games among ourselves?

I think the probability is good that they figure it all out and pull off the Qualifier just fine. It is just a little surprising to see NZ pull out of the Serbia Qualifier so far ahead - letting us know that the ground is more than a little shaky.


Lots of issues around Covid, particularly the 14 day government mandated quarantine. Hopefully with a more rapid vaccine roll out this policy will become unnecessary. In terms of Canada we need to have our team together for some much needed practice and preparation time. On June 5 the first round of the NBA playoffs finish, leaving 22 of 30 NBA teams finished and thereby having several potential players become available ( also the various European first round playoffs will be finishing about the same timeframe ). If these guys had to do a 2 week isolated quarantine that would really hamper any chance of our team having adequate preparation time before the June 29 first game of the Victoria tournament. Imagine if Giannis ( or Jamal Murray became available ) on June 19 after the NBA semifinals and the Greeks didn't have access to him until 2 -3 weeks later - after the tournament. It would not surprise me if the Greek navy was dispatched to start shelling Victoria.

One thing I'll mention is that Canada Basketball is not in peril financially if the tournament is cancelled. The tournament organizers who also have government funding are backing the event. My understanding is Canada Basketball is not the money behind this tournament. Fiba and the local organizers seem to be leaning towards a bubble environment.

https://theprovince.com/sports/basketball/if-fiba-qualifier-hurdle-is-cleared-a-mountain-of-a-challenge-awaits-canada
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Re: Team Canada Basketball Thread V3.0 

Post#12 » by Hair Canada » Mon Mar 8, 2021 4:05 pm

DEFENSE!

Almost without noticing, Canada can now put up an incredible defensive unit. It's not just the obvious elite defenders like Dort or Birch. I would argue that on top of these all of CoJo, SGA, Brooks, Barrett, Clarke, Boucher, and TT are above-average defenders, and some of them are very good. Even Murray and Wiggins, largely considered minus defenders in previous years (or worse in the case of Wiggins) are now among the best in their respective teams (love the jump that Murray has made on this end of the court).

This means that if most of these guys show up, you could put up various units that have no obvious defensive weaknesses while also having substantial firepower out there at any given time. Units like these would also be able to absorb a weaker defender who has offensive strengths such as Olynyk, Pangos, or Wiltjer without losing too much. The defensive depth is just unreal.
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Re: Team Canada Basketball Thread V3.0 

Post#13 » by mojo13 » Mon Mar 8, 2021 6:19 pm

Hair Canada wrote:DEFENSE!

Almost without noticing, Canada can now put up an incredible defensive unit. It's not just the obvious elite defenders like Dort or Birch. I would argue that on top of these all of CoJo, SGA, Brooks, Barrett, Clarke, Boucher, and TT are above-average defenders, and some of them are very good. Even Murray and Wiggins, largely considered minus defenders in previous years (or worse in the case of Wiggins) are now among the best in their respective teams (love the jump that Murray has made on this end of the court).

This means that if most of these guys show up, you could put up various units that have no obvious defensive weaknesses while also having substantial firepower out there at any given time. Units like these would also be able to absorb a weaker defender who has offensive strengths such as Olynyk, Pangos, or Wiltjer without losing too much. The defensive depth is just unreal.



I was recently thinking about this as well. A couple pieces of info out there backing this up recently that caught my eye:

Jamal Murray #5 on NBA.coms All Defense Ladder?
Read on Twitter
?s=20

Who would have ever predicted to see his name there?



I really like this table showing the leaders in Match-up Difficulty. This season's defenders taking on the toughest defensive assignments (minimum 500 minutes).
Read on Twitter
?s=20


Lu Dort near the top is no surprise. Dillon Brooks, Andrew Wiggins and Cory Joseph all in the Top 25 too. Analytics aside, the coaches know who their best defenders are and give them the toughest assignments.
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Re: Team Canada Basketball Thread V3.0 

Post#14 » by TrueNorth31 » Mon Mar 8, 2021 7:11 pm

The key problem for Canada in terms of success in my opinion is not a lack of talent, but rather a lack of team play. The only way to get better as a team is by having consistent coaching and lots and lots of practice and outside competition and continuity. With Covid and the late NBA/ European pro seasons that may not be a luxury Canada will have.

In my basketball observations it's probably easier and quicker to put in your defensive sets rather than your offensive repertoire. Given the time constraints Canada will have, maybe you try to win by having much better defence than your opponents ? As Hair and Mojo have pointed out this is a relative strength of our talent base. Argentina beat France in the last World Cup semi-final by primarily blowing up the French defensively ( the Argies despite not having one NBA player at the time also ran great cohesive offensive sets primarily because of all the time they've played together).

Maybe defence is something we could hang our hats on ? In a perfect world you'd have a little of everything ( me I'd have lots of shooters out there in Fiba ) , but given the Covid hand we've been dealt maybe this could be something Canada could really focus on ?
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Re: Team Canada Basketball Thread V3.0 

Post#15 » by Hair Canada » Mon Mar 8, 2021 8:20 pm

The thing is that if all goes well (yes, I know it's unlikely), we can have both, if not right now then in the long run. Guys like SGA, Jamal, and Boucher bring not only excellent defense but also elite shooting (all 40% from 3 or above this season). Brooks is also a good catch and shoot shooter (should be limited to that), and I think Wiggins can also be a decent one. Heck, even Barrett has been making 40% of his 3s in 2021. And Clarke can space the defense a bit as well. Add guys like Olynyk and Pangos, and you have a very good shooting team. If shot creation can be mostly limited to Murray and SGA (and maybe Pangos?), that should be more than enough without losing a step defensively.

One of the great things about our guys on defense is that they also fill out various important defensive needs:
* On-ball point-of-attack defense? You got it (Dort, Co-Jo; Brooks; Murray).
* Defense on bigger scoring wings? check! (Brooks, Wiggins, Barrett).
* Close-outs on shooters? No problem (Boucher; Murray; SGA; Clarke);
* P&R defensive switches by bigs? Got that one as well (Clarke; Boucher; TT).
* Rim protection? Also there (Boucher; Clarke; Birch).
* Defense on big paint bruisers and defensive rebounding? Probably the one weaker point, especially if one or both of Birch/TT don't show up. Here we'll need some good help-defense and defensive coordination.
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Re: Team Canada Basketball Thread V3.0 

Post#16 » by Hair Canada » Fri Mar 12, 2021 1:46 pm

Well, our guys picked off just where they left it before the All-Star break, without losing a step. Maybe we should start getting used to this kind of multiple elite performances?

SGA with 32 (33 in the game before the break)
Boucher 29 (30)
Barrett 22 (21)
Olynyk 20 (18)

Wiggins (15), Dort (14), CoJo (13), and NAW (10) also in double digits. Thompson (8 and 6) didn't get there because he played less than 20 minutes and Birch had 11 rebounds.
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Re: Team Canada Basketball Thread V3.0 

Post#17 » by mojo13 » Fri Mar 12, 2021 5:16 pm

So lets talk about Chris Boucher for a minute. He has been playing great all season when given the opportunity - the last few games have been fantastic. The Raps are likely missing the playoffs or going out the first round, Boucher is signed for 21/22 but it's a team option contract and Nick Nurse is his coach. How likely is it he plays this summer? Seems high right? But is there any chance his option is in jeopardy? I'm not sure when the extension period is, but it will be well after the Qualifier and likely after the Olympics. What's the chance he sits out waiting for that option to extend? He would need to have a strong verbal guarantee from the Raps that it would be extended for him to play for Canada no? Will there still be insurance issues is he plays on a not yet guaranteed 21/22 contract?

That aside - Michael Grange let a out a tweet last week along the lines of "who would have thought Chris Boucher would be more important to the SMNT this summer than Tristan Thompson?" <paraphrased>

I pushed back saying with KO and Birch as FAs, TT might be the only NBA caliber defensive muscle we have out there and that will be very important (but is that more important than what Boucher can bring?). The Euro's tend to push with large traditional big, strong, but slow centers. Boucher could handle Turkey's emerging 18 year old Alpren Segun (who is still 240 pounds), but even if Giannis doesn't come, Greece is going to have some Centres that outweigh Boucher by 60-90 pounds.

Where is Boucher on the wishlist for Canada? He is well above Lyles, Clarke, Powell for me now. And maybe above Birch, TT and even KO depending on who else shows up. Perfect world to me is that we get at least one of Birch/TT to man the paint and one of KO/Boucher as the stretch big. I still think I'd want KO the most out of all the bigs in a vacuum, but as noted he is a FA. I could see Nurse preferring to use Boucher off the bench and throwing him out there like a wildcard to chase mismatches, running with him if it is working well.

Assume Birch/KO are out as FAs (not a sure thing) and TT decides not to play (perhaps the Celts are still playing). How vulnerable is Canada with a starting front court of Boucher and say Clarke/Powell/Lyles/??? At least Powell and Lyles are 240, so perhaps you give them the defensive assignment and hope they don't get worked too bad. Maybe a Kyle Alexander is an option? or even Kabengele - but neither have any history or experience with the program.

Maybe I am just having nightmares again about Owen Klassen as the starting Centre? Please no...
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Re: Team Canada Basketball Thread V3.0 

Post#18 » by aminiaturebuddha » Fri Mar 12, 2021 5:47 pm

Some very good questions, mojo. The big man positions have been Canada's strength for a while now with TT, Olynyk, Powell, Birch, and others like Nicholson who have suited up. Going forward I think it's increasingly going to become a weakness. Even Boucher, who seems like he's just starting to come into his own, is already 28. And as you mentioned, he has a hard time guarding the kind of big post players that a bunch of international teams feature.

I can't think of a player younger than Boucher and Birch that I can say with confidence will be able to handle those matchups in the future. Clarke is a little small, and is much more of a switchable defender than he is a post defender. I had high hopes for Kabengele, but he just doesn't seem to be getting any time to develop with the Clippers (maybe he doesn't deserve it, but it's hard to say without consistent minutes). This seems to be a gaping hole for the program going forward unless Edey really develops into someone that you would give a roster spot to over other more versatile players.

In terms of this summer. I don't think Boucher's option is even a question at this point. The Raptors are getting great value out of his contract, and with no more big name free agents available that they'll want to retain max cap space to chase this summer, Boucher will almost certainly have that option picked up by the Raptors. I think the Raptors make the playoffs, but you're probably right about a 1st round exit, so he should be good to go to play for Nurse and the team.

If neither KO or Birch play because of their free agent status (and that would be a blow to our hopes), TT is a must in my opinion, if the Celtics aren't still playing. He's committed a bunch of times in the past, it would be a shame if he didn't show up this time when the team might have a chance of finally making some noise. I would still like to see Clarke there, because I think that Nurse's coaching genius would find a way to make use of his mobility on the defensive end to create massive problems for other teams.

Between Powell and Lyles, I probably take Powell, even though he's had a rough year coming off of that injury. They both have inconsistent outside shots, but I think at least Powell "plays bigger" with his rim running style. That would be useful with the guard play we'll have. If we need to dive deep into the pool, I'd take Kabengele over Alexander (and maybe Klassen despite his experience). I'll admit that I'm maybe higher on him than some, but I just think he offers more to a coaching staff that could get the most out of his strengths.
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Re: Team Canada Basketball Thread V3.0 

Post#19 » by Hair Canada » Fri Mar 12, 2021 8:39 pm

I wouldn't be too worried about the future of our bigs for several reasons. First, because bigs are not that important in today's game. I mean, sure, it would be great to have a Jokic or an Embiid. But second-rate centers like those that most teams in the world have are not going to make the difference.

Beyond that though, we could ask how much forward we're looking. If it's the 2023-24 WC/Olympics cycle, then there's a good chance that at least one or two of TT, Birch, Powell, and Olynyk are still in good playing form. That's only 2-3 years from now and they'll be 32 to 34. In today's game that's still not old, certainly for someone like Olynyk who doesn't rely much on athleticism. I can even see Kelley (or one of the others) continue to play till the next cycle, like a Louis Scola or one of the Spanish bigs. I think there's a decent chance that a 34-years-old Boucher, who doesn't have a lot of basketball mileage, is also still a good player

But if we are talking next cycle (2027/28), then that's 6 or 7 years from now. And by then there's a good chance we'll see at least one of the younger guys get to a decent level (or more). After all, it's not like the guys mentioned above are NBA stars. Just solid NBA players. Consider that this field includes, in addition to NBA players such as Lyles, Clarke, and Kabengele, also a host of younger guys. Just off the top of my head: Alexander, Simi, Beiako, Edey, J. Brown, and Boakye. If we're talking 7 years from now, then any 15yo+ might be in the discussion. And as teenagers, guys like Olynyk or Powell (and certainly Boucher, Kabengele, and Clarke) were not even on the NBA radar. Simi was, but didn't develop as we hoped. All that just to say that it's really hard (impossible) to predict how the field will look like in 7 years, not to mention later on. Or how the game will look like for that matter and what role bigs will need to fill.
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Re: Team Canada Basketball Thread V3.0 

Post#20 » by Mirotic12 » Fri Mar 12, 2021 11:25 pm

Since you guys are speculating about Giannis...

It's highly unlikely that he plays at the qualification tournament. For the last year-and-a-half, Greece's coaches and federation officials have been saying over and over in the press that he won't be invited by the federation and won't be asked to play by the coaches.

And we all know that the Bucks don't want him to play. So the only way he plays is if he forces it and demands to play. Greece's coach Pitino said several times just recently that they are making no plans whatsoever with Giannis being included in the team.

So unless Giannis really, really wants to play, he's not playing.

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